BAD BOYS II
Directed by Michael Bay
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Story by Marianne Wibberly, Cormac Wibberly and Ron Shelton
Screenplay by Ron Shelton and Jerry Stahl
I wasn’t all that crazy about the first BAD BOYS. The Wife enjoyed it immensely and she’s not big on action flicks but she likes the rapport between Martin Lawrence and Will Smith and I think more than anything else that’s what pulled a lot of women into that movie when they wouldn’t have been caught dead at any other action/ buddy cop flick and I noticed that there were an awful lot of women at the theatrical showing of BAD BOYS II that The Wife and I attended. Matter of fact, I counted six women by themselves and they appeared to be having a good time all by their lonesome. Experience has taught me two things: women hate to go the movies or eat by themselves. So I have to look at that and the conclusion that I draw is this: the success of the two BAD BOYS movies comes from the fact that both men and women love to see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence together and women didn’t wait for boyfriends or husbands to take them to see BAD BOYS II. Now, I love seeing these two guys together myself but I only wish they could be together in better movies. They have potential for so much more. Put ‘em in a remake of “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” and they’ll deliver. Put ‘em in a remake of one of those Bob Hope/Bing Crosby “Road” movies and they’ll more than deliver. Just don’t put them in another BAD BOYS, okay?
Mike Lowry (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) are Miami cops on the Tactical Narcotics Team and they’re re-introduced to us in one of the movie’s funniest scenes right at the beginning where they bust up a KKK meeting while undercover (and I’m not giving anything anyway here since trailers I’ve seen on DVDs blow that surprise) the bust goes bad which leads into one of the movie’s many shootouts and after we have some bit of business that catches us up on what the characters have been up to since we last saw them (remember, the first BAD BOYS was 8 years ago) we head into what is supposedly the main plot of the movie: The Bad Boys find out that Burnett’s sister, who is a DEA agent is an undercover operative in a case involving Johnny Tapia, an international drug dealer who is laundering his money through Cuba. The Miami police is afraid to touch Tapia since he’s successfully beaten the rap numerous times and indeed has sued the city of Miami for false arrest and won 9 cash settlements (yeah, I know…that’s only one of many howlers in the so-called story…I won’t spoil the rest for you) and he’s considered untouchable. The Bad Boys decide to take down Tapia before Burnett’s sister gets killed, since they don’t think that she’s a professional and capable of doing a job she’s been trained for and has been working the Tapia case for five months. And did I mention that her cover was airtight and only was put in jeopardy when her knucklehead brother and his idiot partner interfered? And the story goes on through it’s tired motions and you sit there and you sit there and you wonder why you just didn’t stay at home and rent one of the LETHAL WEAPON DVDs instead.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying don’t see BAD BOYS II. If you’re a fan of the first movie, you’ll like this one. If you like Will Smith and Martin Lawrence together, you’ll like this one. If you like endless shootouts, car chases, helicopter chases, boat chases, one right after the other with absolutely no point to them, you’ll love this one. The cops played by Martin Lawrence and Will Smith don’t just get into shootouts: combat veterans in Vietnam didn’t have this many enemies hosing bullets at them and bodies are flying through the air gushing blood in loving slow motion. The car chases are operatic in their destruction and the first one really is spectacular with the bad guys literally throwing cars at Burnett and Lowry, who are in a high performance Ferrari dodging the thrown vehicles. It’s one of those incredible action sequences that has you sitting there with your mouth hanging open saying to yourself “How the @#$%^&?” did they film that sucker?”
I was disturbed by the really excessive brutal and raw violence of this movie. I had heard about how gory 28 Days Later was, but I found that I could watch that movie without a qualm since the violence in that movie was necessary to the story and the situation. But the sheer callous brutality of the violence in BAD BOYS II is something else again. There’s a scene involving yet another car chase and dead bodies that has to be seen to be believed and the movie positively relishes in the many different ways the human body can be torn apart. I also didn’t like how there were several scenes that really didn’t have anything to do with the story but appeared to be comedy routines just to give Martin Lawrence a chance to be funny. And to give him his due, Lawrence is funnier in BAD BOYS II than he has been in any movie since BLUE STREAK in my opinion, but these scenes do absolutely nothing to further the story or add anything to the character Lawrence is playing. And Michael Bay continues to make the loudest movies in the world (I thought I had gone deaf after seeing ARMAGEDDON) and he shows off his camera tricks to the detriment of trying to tell a good story. He can move a camera, no doubt about that. Can’t tell a story if you put one of those guns he so loves to show off to his head. And did he have to rip off Jackie Chan for Car Chase #14 through the tin shack village in Cuba?
The good things about the movie? The lovely and talented Gabrielle Union, who is rapidly coming close to replacing Pam Grier as my fantasy girlfriend with every movie she does. Not only is she gorgeous to look at, she brings a professionalism and class to any project she’s with. One thing about her: even if the movie she’s in is crap, I know SHE’s going to be good, regardless. I really liked her in “Cradle 2 The Grave” and I liked her here and I only wished she had more to do with her role. The stunts and shootouts and car chases are enough to satisfy any action junkie. Martin Lawrence is capably funny where he has to be funny and Will Smith is stalwartly heroic when he has to be heroic.
Is BAD BOYS II worth your money and the valuable time out of your life? Hey, you want to just hang out and watch a movie with laughs and stuff blowing up, right? Right. Then go rent BAD BOYS II. It’s got more than enough raw language, action, sex, drug usage and massive property damage to quench the thirst of any moviegoer hungry for action. I’ve seen better action movies, yes, but the BAD BOYS movies seem to have found an audience that regards the two films as the pinnacle of action/buddy-cop films. Would I advise you to see it? Only if you’re interested in the qualities I’ve listed above. Forget about a coherent story and logical plot. Pay your money and turn off your brain.